(BUS13) Bill Gates and the Management of Microsoft (9-392-019)

This case gives us an opportunity to pull together many of our tools to examine the overall strategy of an extremely successful company. For this class discussion, let's also draw on the information about Microsoft contained in last week's case: Living on Internet Time.

Study questions:

1. In general, where would you position Microsoft products on the Newness Map? The Opportunity Risk Map?

2. On the Product Life Cycle, what is a typical entry-point strategy for Microsoft: pioneer, follow-the-leader, segmenter, or me-too?

3. In a nutshell, our definition of strategy is: A company's objectives and the policies and the means to meet those objectives. Using that framework, how would you describe Microsoft's overall strategy?

4. What are Microsoft's core competencies?

5. Review our discussion of Microsoft's development model from last week's case: Living on Internet Time.

6. In your case packet, The Job of a General Manager describes seven components of a general manager's job. On which components does Bill Gates focus his time? What are Bill's strengths and weaknesses?

7. Using the framework contained in Tests of Consistency Among the Components of a Strategy, how would you describe the consistency of Microsoft's overall effort, as outlined in your answers to the above six questions?

8. In your case packet, What Is Strategy? describes three types of "fit." How does Microsoft stack up?